This article has been published to coincide with an episode of Mashable’s new podcast, History Becomes Her. Listen here.
Content warning: This episode contains discussion of grooming and sexual harassment.
Lisa Taddeo spent eight years writing Three Women — the best-selling non-fiction book about three women’s innermost sexual desires.
The American writer drove across the U.S. six times to spend thousands of hours with the three women whose stories shed light on the way women’s sexuality is marginalised.
The result is a fascinating deep-dive into the sex lives of three women and the harsh — sometimes devastating — way they are judged by society and the people they know for their sex lives.
In this episode of History Becomes Her, Taddeo talks about the lessons we can learn from the stories of the three eponymous women, and how we need to change how we talk about women’s sexual desire.
Lina, Sloane, and Maggie are the three central women in Taddeo’s book. Lina is a housewife living in a rural community, whose husband refuses to kiss her. Sloane is a middle-aged restaurateur who has sex with other men while her husband watches. And Maggie is a 17-year-old schoolgirl who is groomed by a married teacher — an experience that results in her community and peers turning on her.
In this episode, Taddeo discusses what she learned from researching and writing the book. “The wildest thing in a sense was the way that women judge other women for talking about desire,” she told me.
Taddeo also shares her admiration for Italian authors Natalia Ginzburg and Elena Ferrante.